Coach Inc named Valentino executive Wendy Kahn chief executive and brand president of the Stuart Weitzman luxury shoe business it bought last year, as the handbag maker steps up efforts to regain its premium status. Kahn, who is currently CEO of Valentino, USA, a unit of Italian fashion house Valentino Fashion Group, will succeed Wayne Kulkin, effective Sept. 13. Kulkin will become a consultant to Coach.
Kahn has previously held senior positions with France-based luxury goods group LVMH at brands including Marc Jacobs, Celine and Pucci, Coach said. “She is highly regarded as a brand champion and for her ability to drive growth in both wholesale and retail channels and across categories including footwear, apparel and accessories," Coach Inc CEO Victor Luis said in a statement.
The $574 million acquisition of Stuart Weitzman has helped Coach beef up sales and expand its product offerings to better compete with rivals such as Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and Kate Spade & Co. The business accounted for more than 8 percent of Coach's sales last quarter.
Coach has been trying to claw back the premium tag it had lost due to an expansion spree that flooded the market with its bags, by cutting back on promotions and appointing well-known fashion designer Stuart Vevers as its creative head. The latest executive change comes a few months after the company said its chief operating officer and global marketing president were leaving.